Canada tightens rules on Japanese food imports

Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:49pm EDT
 
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VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Canada toughened safety inspections of food imported from areas near the stricken Japanese reactors on Wednesday to make sure it has not been contaminated with radiation.

Milk, fruit and vegetables from four prefectures near the reactor will require documents verifying their safety before it can be allowed into Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said.

The new rules cover food imports from the Japanese prefectures of Fukishima, Gunma, Ibaraki and Tochigi.

The agency said "given the evolving nature of the Japanese situation" the import rules may be adjusted in the future. It said Canada recognizes Japan is taking steps to address the safety issue.

Canada is one of a number of countries that have either stepped up testing requirements or blocked produce from being imported from Japan's radiation zone.

Above-safety radiation levels have been discovered in 11 types of vegetables from the Fukishima area in northeast Japan where a six-reactor nuclear plant was battered by a March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the Japanese government has said.

(Reporting by Allan Dowd, Editing by Eric Walsh)